a partial defense, or maybe not

February 23rd, 2017

Bill Maher does some victory lap in bringing on Milo Yiannopoulos, though he’s largely denounced for mainstreaming him by having him on his program.  (I note the cartoon in an alt weekly which has Bill Maher slapping Milo’s hand and saying “You Go Bro!” — interesting as the example clearest for Maher is his good friend and mentor for Milo — Ann Coulter, and here it is the theme of mocking the “defender of free speech” line — though it is clear that the man would be a defender of his free speech)  The theory lies in the “sunlight exposing the man” realm — attention brought attention to things secreted away from him in the past?

“So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” — we’re in the realm of what momentarily tripped up Trevor Noah upon being given his Daily Show job– go scour around and find an offensive sounding twitter post.  This at least is public comments, — it is an obvious dark joke (pedophiliac priest), swimming in what may or may not be ruminations  —

I admit.  I haven’t taken a good look at “it”.  All I’m saying right now is that I don’t immediately blanch at what I’ve heard and can imagine a context where this particularly I’d skip away.

The problem is if I half want to give a “Partial Defense”, a begrudging “you’re playing a game here” theme of mine I’ve tossed to the likes of Sarah Palin and others — here I’m struck by the idea that the man should have been drummed out of acceptable public discourse by every other damned thing he’s said and done, and the “If It’s Shocking, It Sells, and If it Sells, it’s Winning!” line.  (Validated, I suppose, by the man in the White House.)

And yet still.  If he appears at Berkley.  Don’t punch him.

what about paul?

February 22nd, 2017

I like the libertarian magazine Reason’s claim right about here.  “Of course, Libertarians are leading the fight against Trump“.

To be sure, this is a look over at a British publication and a slight lack of nuance on American politics —

And to be sure, the “Great Libertarian” or libertarian-ish, politico in the Senate is not covered in the Reason blog post…

But… So says Rand Paul, Republican Senator of Kentucky on Michael Flynn.

“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

I suppose the murky underside of Russian intelligence is of no concern for Paul.  Oh well.  At least he’s holding forth against John Bolton, even if he just gave a partisan game of his away.

plastered about

February 21st, 2017

Saw the piece of sticker slogan.

“Pizza Gate is Real”.

Is this a medium for fake news?

Is this sincere or ironic?

If the former, does it do more harm to the cause than good?  If latter, does it do more good to the cause than harm?

infotainment complex

February 18th, 2017

I remember early in the Obama Administration, sitting through conservative punditry that took it as a given that the whole Obama Administration is failing, that the news media failed to “vet” him and now we have — a complete nincompoop and disaster.  It was something where the very act of proposing policies and making some attacks on some of his political opponents — see the self-sainted US Chamber of Commerce — was proof of this.

It’s maybe a reflex, and I strain to remain historically grounded.

Assume the worst.  How did he hold a solid approval rating, with a faint “everyone but Republicans” honey-moon.  Trump?  Not so much.  Why?  Well… part of has to do with… oh… acting presidential.  Sooner or later, every administration barks at “the media” in frustration.  Trump declares it the enemy of the people.

The People, beloved by Bane in the Batman movie.

And to be sure, the Trump Administration is successfully moving forward with … action.  At the What The Republicans are thinking on Trump point.  Beyond that, we’re in a realm of a continued cycle since the Harding Administration.  So much an issue, that it’s a libertarian argument against government watchdog agencies — sooner and later, we’ll just have the Foxes guarding the henhouse and — BLAMO!  Teapot Dome!

But you know… accountability is an issue.  November 6, 2018, eh?  A slight problem.  Here are the Senate seats up.  McConnell sits as Senate Majority Leader for this entire Trump / Pence term.  I suppose we’re back to a “50 state strategy”, down to the local state level… with the Democrats trying to figure out how to move beyond the city enclaves again.


meanwhile, to your left

February 14th, 2017

“Liberals are fond of that famous quote from Voltaire.  ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’  Now the thing is… your anti-fascists… don’t really buy into that one.”

So heard on flicking briefly across the radio dial… had to be KBOO… and so goes the Antifa, I think it is.

Roughly speaking, explaining the recent punchings of Spencer, and Milo, and Bible Believer guy.

I suppose the theory is that if you don’t punch these guys now, their beliefs will gain currency, they will gain power, and they have no such idealistic approach on free speech.  So, not giving them the currency they won’t be giving their opponents, we just need to punch bad ideas out of the body politik.

That’s the idea, right?


I see a guy at Starbucks.  He has 3 books.  The parenti Reader — as in Michael  — rounding about there somewhere just to the left of Chomsky.  A book on “American Fascism”, which I assume is somewhere around the realm of Trump — Bannon.  And something else I don’t remember.
Very much into reading all these anti-capitalist screeds…and he does so…
at a Starbucks.
To be sure, he doesn’t much resemble the sort that would throw a baseball bat at the window of the Starbucks…
But it is all very interesting nonetheless.

the turmoil ahead in the body politick

February 12th, 2017

One observation as what is considered the “Left” moves about in copying the “playbook” of the “Tea Party Right” as at the dawn of the Trump Administration as at the dawn of the Obama Administration.

And as we see some of the same basic tropes — some disruptions at town halls, Republicans crying wolf on “astro-turf”.

(Wait.  Is there a bizarro Koch Bros?  Sure.  But they just randomly pluck out Soros for the role.
At any rate, until they finally come up with a coherent following of some money trail, we’re back at the “You all Right!  We learned it by watching you!”)

You know one thing the “Tea Party” failed to do?  Stop Obama’s re-election.
Also you know one outcome we don’t really want?  Some Democratic version of Donald Trump seceding him.

sports are stupid

February 11th, 2017

“For me, being a 49ers fan, Joe Montana will always be the greatest.  But I’d definitely put Tom Brady in the top 2 or 3.”

Granted, it is the case that if someone comes around and wins ten superbowls straight for some other team not the Patriots, someone will be saying “For me, being a Patriots fan…”

Simply put:  Any particular reason?

The answer is Otto Graham, by the way.
But no one will say it because no one alive really has any emotional connection / odd identification with any games he played, and everyone’s history of professional football begins in the late 1960s.
So tell me why it’s wrong and Otto Graham isn’t the Greatest.

impeach eisenhower, impeach kennedy, impeach reagan…

February 10th, 2017

Americans Now Evenly Divided on Impeaching Trump.

Oh, the poll is probably something that in terms of elections and campaigns is better is Democratic years than Republican years.

It is worth pondering the current stark division on Capital Hill.  Jeff Sessions in by party-line vote, more or less — Joe Manchin was the Democrat who crossed over.  Betty Devos with just two Republican defections to party line vote.  Is there any way out for the next Democratic administration?  Or the coming Mike Pence administration?

Voters are concerned about Trump taking away Obamacare. 47% of voters now say they support the Affordable Care Act to only 39% who are opposed. It just keeps getting more popular. And only 32% think the best course of action to take on health care is repealing the ACA, while 65% would like Congress to keep it and just fix parts that need fixing.

Ironically, had Hillary Clinton come into charge as President, the popularity of the program would not be rising so fast.

The funny thing about “Impeachment” on this short date.  It’ll be claimed that this is adding to a spectacle of American politics.  Even though, that train already left the station.